Related Articles

35 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

I still couldn’t believe they made a movie out of this conspiracy theory…

Even worse, that it’s now being educated to our children. Jesus.

ReplyReply
mygif
FifthSurprise said on October 25th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Let us all give thanks that Snooki is Snooki so none of us have to be?

ReplyReply
mygif
Lawnmower Boy said on October 25th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Yeah, there’s a class thing to the de Vere theory, but that isn’t really the explanation, which I think goes more like this:

Evolution: “So, final item before lunch, naked veldt apes. What you boys got for me today?”
Natural Selection: “Ooh, ooh, I’ve got this great idea, language! It’ll totally expedite group hunting and toolmaking strategies!”
Sexual Selection: “I’m going to make the boys like boobies!”
Natural Selection: “Didn’t you have that idea last week?”
SS: “Boobies…”
Natural Selection: “Yeah, moving on. So you can see here where the visual centres of the one cortex are connected to the spatial centres with the corpus callosum? If we extend it back….”
Evolution: “I don’t know. That’s a lot of wiring. These ‘brain’ things already crash too much for my liking. What else you got?”
Natural Selection: “Uhm, skin turns paisley when they’re stressed? Okay, I got nothing. C’mon, boss, I worked on this for twelve generations!”
Sexual Selection: “Wait, what if we build in some kind of advance diagnostic? The group could police itself.”
Natural Selection: “What just happened?”
Sexual Selection: “Stupid new filter won’t let me get to porn sites. I kinda zoned back in.”
Natural Selection: “No. About the diagnostic. Why is that your thing?”
Sexual Selection: “Oh. My policing mechanism is, like, totally sexual selection. Diagnostic kicks in, the precrash models can’t get themselves nookie, bad genes select themselves out.”
Evolution: “So it’ll be behavioural sexual selection? Me likey.”
Natural Selection: “Please don’t try to be cool, boss. It’s creepy.”
Sexual Selection: “That’s it! Creepiness!”
Natural Selection: “You’re just pulling this out of your ass now, aren’t you?”
Evolution: “Don’t distract the kid! He’s on a roll. Creepiness is a little vague, isn’t it?”
Sexual Selection: “Not at all. Plays into this whole language as a tool thing. They, y’know, lose the thread. Get tangled up in the medium. Start confusing world and symbolic representation. Bore everybody with their cranky theories that are all tangled up with their incipient pathologies!”
Natural Selection: “I know that guy…”
Sexual Selection: “Just going with what I know best.”
Evolution: “So, basically, they’ll wander around sharing repellent crazy theories…”
Sexual Selection: “And the hotties will steer clear, and they’ll die an agonising, reproductively sterile death!”
Natural Selection: “Crazy such as how?
Sexual Selection: “Basically, secret plots that connect up all the coincidences in politics and poetics into vast conspiracies. Or evolutionary biology. That stuff’s creepy as hell.”

ReplyReply
mygif

Flapjacks might be right about things blowing up. I thought the premise of the movie (besides the Shakespeare as fraud thing, which I think is ludicrous) is that Oxford can’t put his name on the plays for political reasons, the backdrop for which is wars and battles and such. I could swear I saw cannons firing and explosions in the preview.

I don’t think it’s as prevalent as in Independence Day, of course, but I think some stuff does blow up.

I like your note about classist garbage, though.

ReplyReply
mygif

Ah, Flapjacks, how we’ve missed ye.

ReplyReply
mygif

The weirdest part about this film for me is that they’re so intent on placing some kind of political context on Shakespeare’s work. I mean, you can debate Shakespeare’s authorship and you can have a very interesting debate about it, so long as you’re a bunch of historians and English PhD’s and don’t think it’s some kind of vast conspiracy that biographical details get lost over time… but it’s the whole “fermenting revolution” angle that doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. You really have to be reaching to see aggressive political dissent in Shakespeare.

ReplyReply
mygif

You have to admire Emmerich’s strategy here. As a creator of incredibly dumb films, it is in his best interest for his potential audience to be as dumb as possible. Therefore the ideal Emmerich movie would be one that actively subverts education. It’s a perfect example of a positive feedback loop. Well played indeed, Mr. Emmerich.

I wonder if he had the same idea in mind back when he made “Stargate” with all its Chariots of the Gods content, which even then was decades past its expiration date.

ReplyReply
mygif

The works of Shakespeare have been attributed to more people besides either William or Edward de Vere, and in fairness, it’s not just classism.

I think there’s a bit of feminism, or at least feminist-related arguments in there, about how Shakespeare was very feminist for his day and/or was very good at getting inside the heads of female characters, so clearly the plays were written by a woman. (Of course, that doesn’t support the Edward argument any better, but we’re talking about an amalgamation of centuries-old conspiracy theories, so who cares?) And then there’s the argument that some of Shakespeare’s stuff was different enough from the rest that they were probably written by different people, so some people wonder whether Shakespeare wrote the really good stuff and fobbed the more lightweight stuff on an intern, or if the Earl or someone else did the really good stuff and the uneducated Shakespeare was the hack who did the more lightweight stuff, or what.

I remember a literature teacher in college who was deliberately uninterested in the question. She was OK with treating Shakespeare’s stuff as a body of work by one person, whether that one person was William, some Earl, William’s mistress, or a theater company bullpen, and ignoring the question of whether Shakespeare was actually the guy named Shakespeare.

I have the strong impression that she believed Shakespeare was indeed Shakespeare and just didn’t want to derail the class discussion, but who knows.

ReplyReply
mygif

Well, Cyrus, students do love derailing class discussion. And two things will really derail a class discussion on Shakespeare: the authorship “question” (cos everyone likes a conspiracy) and Shakespeare’s alleged homosexuality.

OF course, your teacher is also right that “Shakespeare” is just a handy name to attach to a collection of poetry and poems, and who the actual writer(s) is/are is kind of irrelevant, unless you are the sort who insists on wanting to know what the “poet was trying to tell us”.

ReplyReply
mygif

I’d actually quite like to see “My Dinner With Mothra”.

ReplyReply
mygif

I actually had to do a paper on this when I was in college. It’s actually a kind of fascinating topic. Total bullshit, but still fascinating.

I think my favorite theory was that William Shakespeare was actually an alias of Christopher Marlowe that he had to fall back on after having to fake his death in Deptford.

ReplyReply
mygif

The thought of Godzilla and Mothra sitting down together made me remember this Robot Chicken clip, which is mild amusing

http://video.adultswim.com/robot-chicken/king-of-the-monsters.html

What’s really interesting is that Firefox spellcheck likes “Godzilla” but not “Mothra”.

ReplyReply
mygif
Dhertiiboi said on October 25th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I second Eli request for ‘My Dinner With Mothra’!

ReplyReply
mygif

‘Dinner with Mothra’ sounds like a far superior idea to ever having to hear Snooki mentioned again.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on October 25th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Eli Balin wins 4 Internets!

And yeah, I’m on board with the idea of “Shakespeare is the name for this body of work. At this point, does it really matter if it was this guy or that guy. Only God and Doctor Who will ever know the truth anyway.”

Besides, wasn’t it recently established that at least one of the “great plays” was actually written by Joss Whedon? :-)

ReplyReply
mygif
LightlyFrosted said on October 25th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I’m something of a dyed in the wool Stratfordist, but I’m going to be perfectly honest. I don’t really care what the movie has to say, on the proviso that it portrays itself, at best, as a work of fiction. I didn’t mind ‘Shakespeare in Love’, and I didn’t mind ‘300’, because neither of those films tried to portray themselves as real events.

This movie is getting under my skin already.

Also, for all the people who think that William Shakespeare couldn’t possibly have written his own works, has it ever occurred to any of them that it may be possible that he didn’t write his own works because he was too busy composing the works of Sir Francis Bacon?

ReplyReply
mygif
highlyverbal said on October 25th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

@NCallahan

“fermenting revolution” – sounds delicious, I think I had some at a microbrewery in San Fran.

ReplyReply
mygif

Yup. “My Dinner With Mothra” is a script that must be written — At least enough for a youtube trailer.

ReplyReply
mygif

In my opinion, the Earl of Oxford was a complete twit, but that’s just me. Also, I’m pretty sure that Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlow hung out with Shakespeare, and that they rather liked his plays.

ReplyReply
mygif

I am deeply (and probably unreasonably) smug about the fact that the NYT opinion piece cited above is by one of my college professors, who was awesome then and remains awesome now.

ReplyReply
mygif

The whole “It’s about nobles so it must have been written by a noble!” argument has always baffled me. What, shall we also assume that all fairy tales were originally told by princes or princesses? Have none of these people heard of imagination? …Or at least noticed that Shakespeare’s scripts tended to steer fairly hard away from the political implications of his stories in favor of dwelling on the emotional state of individuals in the midst of political (or other) turmoil?

ReplyReply
mygif
EndOfTheWorld said on October 25th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Ugh, this movie. Come on, Roland, you can do a better story than that! Think about it, man. Christopher Marlowe was a famous playwright and spy for the queen. And he might have had the same place in the canon as Shakespeare had his life not been tragically cut short during a bar fight.

Or…. was it? DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN

Kit Marlowe fakes his death and continues publishing his plays under the assumed name William Shakes-speare. But they aren’t just plays! They have… coded messages in them! Secret communications from the spy to his queen hidden in plain sight! Apply the Fibonacci sequence (or whatever) to Romeo and Juliet and you have…. my god! “The Spaniards attack at moon-rise!”

There you go, Roland. The Da Vinci Code made a shitload of money from the rubes, and so can you!

ReplyReply
mygif

It’s accepted literary theory – that is, accepted by a lot of theorists and critics – that Shakespeare didn’t write a lot of his works…by himself. This is the Theatre, after all, boys and girls; there’s bound to be a wee bit of collaboration here and there, not only between the playwright and his actors – of which Shakespeare himself would often be a number – but also between the playwright and other, consulting playwrights.

Titus Andronicus seems to be a collaboration and/or revision of George Peele; The Tempest, in Prospero, Caliban and Ariel, plays on the same themes as Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus while reversing the ending and hence the moral message.

To this end, someone in the Guardian wrote a couple of months ago that, instead of publishing “The Complete Works of Shakespeare” and “The Plays of Christopher Marlowe”, and hence laying out the possibility of controversy (especially as Shakespeare didn’t actually make up the majority of his plots), why not publish “The Plays Performed by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men”, and/or “The Complete Works of the Rose Theatre”? It’d be the same material, but with a fresh and arguably more inclusive labelling…

(Cue the first trailer for Michael Bay’s GLOBE: The True Story Of An Alien Intelligence Who Hid In A 16th-Century Theatre For Some Reason, Oh And Francis Drake Was A Robot How ‘Bout That)

ReplyReply
mygif

(Cue the first trailer for Michael Bay’s GLOBE: The True Story Of An Alien Intelligence Who Hid In A 16th-Century Theatre For Some Reason, Oh And Francis Drake Was A Robot How ‘Bout That)

SSSHHHH!! Blast it, man! Bay will hear you!!!

ReplyReply
mygif

@highlyverbal

I should feel ashamed of my spelling mistake, but you’re right, that does sound delicious, and now I’m just hoping that microbrewery is real.

ReplyReply
mygif
FeepingCreature said on October 25th, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Only God and Doctor Who will ever know the truth anyway.

Doctor Who .. who? :ba-dum tssh:

ReplyReply
mygif
Marionette said on October 26th, 2011 at 9:38 am

Anything is better with Mothra.

ReplyReply
mygif

I’m with Flaming Carrot: Shakespeare’s plays were written by a time-traveling Buddy Hackett!

ReplyReply
mygif

I’ve got agree with acechan on this one. These conspiracy theorists are so caught up on the concept that it’s impossible a ne’er-do-well could imagine the life of nobles, many of which he probably saw here and there, they fail to account the existence of general imagination.

Most writers (at least in my experience) transplant their personal experience into tales about others’ lives because most of life is incredibly monotonous.

ReplyReply
mygif

No love for Lawnmower Boy’s “Explaining Hollywood Evolution”?

I thought it was a bang-up job.

ReplyReply
mygif
HonestObserver said on October 28th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

What I really don’t get is why William Shakespeare is such a big deal. Don’t we have plays from thousands of his contemporaries? Why does he, out of all of them, get placed in such high regard?

Shaw was right. Let’s dig up his bones and throw stones at them. Oh wait, that’s what Anonymous is already doing.

ReplyReply
mygif

“The Tempest, in Prospero, Caliban and Ariel, plays on the same themes as Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus while reversing the ending and hence the moral message.”

It can’t be a collaboration with Marlowe, though, because Marlowe had been dead for years by the time it was written.

ReplyReply
mygif
malakim2099 said on October 30th, 2011 at 1:02 am

Not if Shakespeare was an alien time traveler!

ReplyReply
mygif

Ah, yes, that was a slip-up…what I mean to say is that while it wasn’t a direct collaboration with Marlowe, it seems that Shakespeare was purportedly drawing from the themes, plots and characters of Marlowe’s final play in order to create his own.

ReplyReply
mygif

What I really don’t get is why William Shakespeare is such a big deal. Don’t we have plays from thousands of his contemporaries? Why does he, out of all of them, get placed in such high regard?

Well, for one thing, he invented or imported into English a ton of words themselves. This blog has a proposed Dr. Strange story about that. I don’t know how many words were introduced to English by other specific writers, or by writers in general, but it seems to me that Shakespeare would easily the individual world record for that, if such a thing existed. So that right there is worthy of some note.

For another, you say “Don’t we have plays from thousands of his contemporaries?” … well, do we? Thousands around the world, maybe. But in English? I’d be surprised. Literate people were probably in a minority at the time, I think, and spelling still wasn’t standardized. There really weren’t all that many people writing for a popular audience at the time, so the few could have a disproportionate effect on both the pop culture of their day and on the Anglosphere for years going forward.

Maybe any commercially successful playwright in London in the late 16th/early 17th century would be just as influential and well-known today as Shakespeare is in this universe, I don’t know. And I have to admit I don’t actually enjoy Shakespeare, personally. But he definitely had a big influence on English language and culture.

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments